Couric to Obama: What Will African-American President 'Mean to You Personally?'

Just as with all his previous interviews with the broadcast network anchors, Barack Obama had nothing to fear from his final pre-election sit-down, this time with CBS's Katie Couric, who laughed along with him about being a “nervous wreck” on election day, raised Jeremiah Wright not to press him about Wright's incendiary anti-American rants but to ask if the McCain campaign had given its “approval” to a state party to raise the topic, and concluded by fawning: “If things go your way on Tuesday and you become this nation's first African-American President, what will that mean to you personally?”

In the excerpts from the interview conducted Sunday in Columbus, Ohio and aired on Monday's CBS Evening News, Couric posed four questions, starting with “fears that perhaps an unbridled, unchecked, filibuster-proof Democratic majority will overreach and move the country too far to the left. How can you assuage people's concerns about that?”  Instead of hitting him on how much the decision by the McCain campaign and the news media to drop Wright helped him avoid a subject that would have hurt in swing states, she treated Republicans as the miscreants: 
The Pennsylvania Republican Party is starting to run an ad in that state which features your former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying quote, “God damn America.” Do you think they would have run that ad without the approval of the McCain campaign?
Sunday's CBS Evening News plugged the interview with a clip of Couric asking Obama about Zeituni Onyango, whom the Times of London late last week found living in a Boston housing project:
You have an aunt who's been living in this country, apparently illegally, for four years and you campaign says “any and all appropriate laws should be followed.” So, would you support her being deported to Kenya?
A CBSNews.com posting with interview video and a transcript does not have that question, but does have several others not aired Monday night, including:
What did the McCain team do in the course of this campaign that made you the angriest?
The questions aired in the first half of the hour-long Monday, November 3 CBS Evening News (Washington, DC's CBS affiliate did not air the second half, but Couric did not say more of the interview would air in that second half hour):
- Let's talk about single-party rule for a moment. Some critics describe it as all accelerator and no brakes. There are fears that perhaps an unbridled, unchecked, filibuster-proof Democratic majority will overreach and move the country too far to the left. How can you assuage people's concerns about that?

- What are you most afraid of on election day? (“Aren't you going to be a nervous wreck?” And: “Or maybe not sleeping much on Monday night?”)

- The Pennsylvania Republican Party is starting to run an ad in that state which features your former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying quote, “God damn America.” Do you think they would have run that ad without the approval of the McCain campaign?
- If things go your way on Tuesday and you become this nation's first African-American President, what will that mean to you personally?
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center